Security Men Bar Journalists From Boko Haram Suspects Trial

Journalists were on Thursday prevented from covering the arraignment of 17 suspected Boko Haram members charged before a Federal High Court, Lagos.

Other litigants who had matters at the court were equally barred from entering the court.

Fierce-looking men of the Department of State Security Service, DSSS, threatened to arrest any journalist who flouted their order which they claimed was from above.

However, the arraignment of the suspects could not hold as five of them lacked legal representation.

Those without legal representative were Ali Mohammed, Adamu Karumi, Ibrahim Usman, Bala Haruna and Idris Ali.

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Others charged along with them are Mohammed Murtala, Kadiri Mohammed, Mustapha Daura, Abba Duguri, Sanni Adamu, Danjuma Yahaya, Musa Audu, Mati Daura, Farouk Haruna, Abdullahi Azeez, Ibrahim Bukar and Zula Diani.

This is the third time the arraignment of the suspected Boko Haram members would be postponed.

The first time was on October 2 due to the absence of a Hausa language interpreter, while the second time was on October 9, due to the absence of the trial judge.

Justice Musa Kurya again adjourned the case again till November 27.

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The accused are facing trial on 18-count charge of conspiracy to commit terrorism, illegal possession of firearms, and being members of a proscribed organisation.

They are alleged to have in their possession three packets of explosive construction pipes, 15 detonators, and 11 AK 47 rifles with 30 rounds of live ammunition.

Other items also alleged to have been found in their possession include 200 rounds of 7.6 mm live ammunition, two suitcases containing explosives, and a water container filled with explosives.

According to the charge sheet, the 17 accused are alleged to have committed the offences on March 21, at Plot 5, Road 69, Lekki Phase I Housing Estate, and No. 24, Oyegbeni St., Ijora-Oloye, Apapa-Iganmu, Lagos, thereby contravening provisions of Sections 13(2) and 17(b) of the Terrorism Act 2013.

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It also contravenes Sections 1, 8, 27 (1) (a) and (b) of the Firearms (special provisions) Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation, 2004, and punishable under Section 8 of the same act.

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